On May 15, ABC submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on costly and burdensome EPA regulations and policies.
In the comment letter, ABC expressed concern that major federal projects have been unnecessarily delayed or abandoned, resulting in jobs being deferred or never created because of a dysfunctional permitting system. ABC supports a streamlined process for developers to obtain environmental permits and approvals for their projects in a timely and efficient manner, which would help foster job creation and economic growth.
Further, ABC discussed the 2015 final rule on Definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) Under the Clean Water Act Final Rule, which radically changed the level of authority the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have over water and land uses across the country. ABC has been a vocal opponent of the WOTUS rule, which has led to uncertainty among ABC members and the construction industry at large. On Feb. 28, President Trump issued an executive order requiring the EPA to review the rule. ABC praised the president’s executive action thanking him for “for taking action to clarify the limits of federal jurisdiction over waterways and take steps to alleviate the current environment of regulatory uncertainty plaguing contractors.”
ABC also expressed concern about a possible rulemaking on post-construction stormwater runoff and urged the EPA to remove it from its regulatory agenda. ABC argued the construction industry is not responsible for storm water runoff after the “active phase” of construction, and adding a one-size-fits-all regulation to this process would lead to additional costs.
During the Obama administration, the EPA looked to expand its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RPP) program from residential construction to the commercial construction industry. ABC opposed the expansion and submitted comments in 2013 warning that the expansion of this program would have serious implications on the construction industry. The comments also stated the EPA should understand the fundamental differences between residential and commercial buildings and know if there are programs and industry practices currently in place before moving forward with a rulemaking.
To read ABC’s full comments, click here.